WATCH Hundreds of men prevent two women from reaching shrine of celibate Hindu deity
Indian police were forced to intervene when a massive crowd of male pilgrims tried to prevent two women of menstruating age from reaching one of Hinduism’s holiest sites, contrary to tradition.
Two female pilgrims in their mid-40s took on a hostile horde of men on Monday as they tried to make the journey to the Sabarimala shrine. Insulted and harassed along the way, the male protesters did everything they could to prevent women from entering the hill temple in the southern Kerala state.
The road leading to the temple was eventually blocked by a crowd of pilgrims just one kilometer away from the women’s final destination. Fearing unpredictable consequences, police were forced to intervene. Pushing the angry crowd back, security forces used their shields to escort the women back to safety.
On Sunday, a group of 11 women was also forced to turn back by a large group of male devotees.Also on rt.com Thousands protest against menstrual-age women accessing Hindu temple in India (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
At the end of September, India’s Supreme Court struck down a ban on females aged between 10 and 50 from entering the temple for Ayyappa, the god of growth. The site has since become a battleground for traditionalists and female rights activists. Women have tried to enter the shrine on numerous occasions since the ban was lifted, but they have been met with large crowds that prevented them from reaching the temple.
The god Ayyappa is considered to be celibate, so women of menstruating age were banned from entering his temple as they are considered by traditionalists to be impure and a temptation.
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